COVID-19 Resources


Resources And Tips For Our Community To Navigate During This Time Of Need

Our world has changed dramatically over the last few months. We want to do our best to continue to serve our community while ensuring we are keeping a safe distance in order to flatten the curve. We have created a landing spot where we will share and update tips and resources to help us all through this time of need.

During this time of uncertainty, we encourage you all to spread kindness. If you know of someone doing extraordinary work in our community, whether it be serving food to our healthcare workers, shopping for groceries for our elderly, among others, we would love to spotlight their work! Send your community nominations to our Communications Vice President at [email protected]. We look forward to spreading some light in these uncertain times.

General Items for All Community Members

For questions related to COVID-19 regarding symptoms, treatment, and available testing, visit or email [email protected]. Call your healthcare provider or Florida Department of Health if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

The CDC also has a self-checker in place here on their website to help you with decisions on when to seek appropriate care if you’re experiencing symptoms.

Learn about guidelines for fabric masks as well as how to make a DIY face mask here. This article includes instructions for a no-sew bandana mask and a mask if you have supplies and a sewing machine on hand.

To view state-issued executive orders, visit

For updates or questions related to emergency small business loans, visit Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership at

If you have lost your job due to COVID-19, visit Florida Jobs here to learn how to apply for reemployment assistance.

Have you completed your census yet? Now more than ever it’s important for you to complete your census. Why? The results from the census determine how federal funding flows into our state and local community each year. If you haven’t already completed your census by mail, you can go to and complete it online.

Do you want to register to vote by mail in the upcoming elections? You can visit the Marion County Supervisor of Election’s website here and register to vote by mail.

Food Program for Children

The Marion County School Board is providing “Grab & Go” meal services for children at several sites throughout the county. Click here for an updated listing of delivery sites including 20 schools. Each child 18 and under receives a free breakfast, lunch and snack bag. If you need additional service sites, you can suggest these by calling 352-671-7050 Monday-Friday from 7 am – 4 pm.

Educational Items

Check out our storytime sessions and tips for distance learning on our Facebook page!

Dolly Parton is also reading bedtime stories here beginning April 2nd at 7 pm. If you have a child five years old or younger, you can also sign up to receive free monthly books from her Imagination Library.

Scholastic Learn at Home is providing 20 days worth of activities for FREE. Click here to visit their site where you can select activities by grade level.

Action for Healthy Kids has a wealth of knowledge geared toward children about nutrition, mindfulness, and physical activity. Click here to access these educational materials aimed to keep children active and healthy while participating in online learning.

Rosetta Stone is offering three months of language learning FREE to students in elementary, middle and high school. To claim the free 3-month subscription, go to their website here.

Geared for adults, Yale is offering several free introductory courses on a variety of topics. You can learn more and view these courses by clicking here.

Working from Home and Staying Productive

Many of us find ourselves suddenly working from home. How do you create a working space where you can focus and complete your tasks?

  • If possible, set up your workspace in a completely different space from where you relax. This will help you when it’s time to end your workday. It’s even better if you can set up your workspace in a separate room. When you’re finished with work, you can shut everything down and close the door.
  • Get all of your tools in place. Make sure you have all of the normal items that you use in your everyday workplace easily accessible. Think staplers, printer, paper, pens, coffee, etc.
  • Continue your routine. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast. Do everything you normally do just exclude getting in the car to drive to work.
  • Once you’re ready to get started, write, or type out some goals for your day or week. Check back on your goals to keep yourself focused.
  • It’s okay to take breaks throughout the day! Sometimes it’s good to get up and take a walk around the house or take a short walk around the block if it’s pretty outside.
  • Call or email your co-workers. What are their best tips that they’ve found while working at home?
  • Figure out a way to close your day. This may just be closing your laptop or closing the door to where you have your workspace. Find something that works for you to make sure you get a mental break from your work.

Are you navigating this new scenario while your children stay at home and learn? You want to implement similar strategies for the kids.

  • Have them continue their routine for waking up for a normal school day. If they wear a uniform, have them wear their uniform. Make sure they get their normal breakfast. Have their morning routine be as close to what it used to be for them.
  • Create small stations for their learning spaces, like a separate corner of the room for reading, science, recess, etc.
  • Set a timer on your phone that goes off every 30-45 minutes that will remind you to tell them that they need to wrap up their reading and move onto math class, etc.
  • Give yourself grace. Working at home and helping your kids is HARD. If you don’t get through everything you wanted to get through in the day, this is okay. We are all in this together!

Fine Arts and Entertainment

Reilly Arts Center – Do you have an Amazon Fire Stick or an Amazon TV? Reilly recently launched their Fire TV app, “The Reilly Digital Stage”. You can find their live performances from the past few weeks and look forward to their upcoming performances. Roku app coming soon!

Ocala Civic Theatre – Beginning April 6, OCT launched their Spring Sampler, a free virtual series of theatre art workshops via Zoom. If you’re interested in registering or learning more, visit or contact Terry LeCompte at [email protected].

Scribd is offering you free access for 30 days to its content including ebooks, audiobooks, and magazine articles. Click here to start your 30 days.

Beginning April 2, the National Theatre in London will broadcast a play each day on its YouTube channel at 2 pm EST. Some shows to be broadcast include One Man, Two Guv’nors featuring James Corden, Jane Eyre, and Treasure Island. Once these have been broadcast to YouTube, they will be available to stream free for 7 days. Click here for more information.

If you have a public library card or a university login, you can use Kanopy to stream over 30,000 documentaries, classics, or indie films for free. Click here to get started.

Universal has created a YouTube channel titled “The Shows Must Go On” that will stream a full-length musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber every Friday that will be available for free for 48 hours. Click here to go to the channel.

BroadwayHD is offering a free 7-day trial for you to stream your favorite Broadway shows. You can sign up for the free trial here and can choose to cancel it or renew it for the regular charge of $8.99 per month and continue streaming.

Health and Wellness

YMCA of Central Florida (Frank Deluca) is offering virtual wellness workout videos on Facebook Live. Check out their Facebook here!

Zone Health & Fitness is offering live stream community classes to anyone following them on Facebook. Check out their Facebook here!

Go Noodle is geared towards kids and offers games and activities for physical wellness. Browse through their website here.

Some of us have dealt with anxiety most of our lives and some of us are just now experiencing anxiety as we navigate this unprecedented pandemic. What are some ways to handle anxiety?

  • Exercise regularly. Go for a walk, a run, or even a bike ride. Just make sure you’re a safe distance from others who are outside.
  • Take a break from the news. Sometimes you need to just turn off the television or stop scrolling social media. This can be particularly overwhelming, so take a break from those screens!
  • Take care of your body by practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Remember, breathe in…one…two…three…four…and breathe out…one…two…three…four…five…and repeat.
  • Connect with your network! Reach out to your family and friends. Call your grandmother! Facetime your best friend from college! Check-in and see how they’re doing.

If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed and want to speak to a professional, Shepherd’s Voice Counseling Services has partnered with Living Waters Church and is offering Crisis Intervention and Mental Counseling free of charge through the end of April 2020. For more information or to schedule a session, please call 352-351-2777 or 352-355-7677 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and a brief detail of your counseling need.

Virtual Tours

Are you missing Disney? Were you planning a trip to a museum or famous landmark this summer? Many museums and famous locations have posted virtual tours that you can enjoy from the safety of your own home.

Take a virtual ride on Disneyland’s California Adventure or on Disney World’s Frozen Ever After!

Wishing you could take a trip overseas? The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland have a virtual tour on their website here where you can enjoy some beautiful sights!

Do you want to travel to somewhere a little more “local”? The National Parks Service also offers guided tours here to five of our national parks. Choose from the Dry Tortugas National Park right here in Florida or even the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The National Museum of Natural History is offering virtual tours of its numerous exhibits. Click here to choose the exhibit(s) you’d like to visit.

Many aquariums and zoos are offering a glimpse into their wildlife habitats.

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has ten different webcams in all different exhibits. Click here to take a look!
  • The San Diego Zoo offers live webcams as well as archives of pandas, penguins, elephants, tigers, among others. Click here to take a look!
  • The Cincinnati Zoo is taking you on a safari each day at 3 pm on their Facebook page. Once the Facebook Live event ends, you can view the safaris on their YouTube page here.

Are you interested in space? NASA offers a free app titled “Space Center Houston”. Download the app to your phone and enjoy a tour of the Houston location and learn more about our journey in space.

Activities for the Kids

  • Coloring books
  • Puzzles, legos, books, toys
    • Support local shops around town by calling Marley Mae Market & Paperie or Serendipity Boutique that may have some toys available for you to purchase.
      • Visit Marley Mae by going to or calling 352-438-0088. Local orders of $20 or more have the option to choose free contactless home delivery! Curbside pickup is also available.
      • Get in contact with Serendipity Boutique by calling them at 352-671-3288. Curbside pickup is available.
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Make a fort in the living room with blankets and pillows and curl up and watch a movie together
  • Get some fresh air and exercise in your backyard – play a game of tag, red rover, etc.
  • Send a letter to family and friends.
  • Kona Ice is making deliveries to certain areas around Ocala. Visit the link here and enter in your zip code to see if they can make deliveries to you. Keep up with them on their Facebook here as they continue to add new days, times and locations!

How Can I Help?

Whether it be purchasing some extra non-perishable items to donate or cleaning out your closet to find clothing items, toys, books, etc., you can still help out your community from a safe distance.

The Junior League of Ocala will be collecting gently worn dresses, shoes, and accessories for the Pace Center for Girls “Believing in Me” gala. We also collect elementary-aged gently used books for our Little Libraries around town. We would love for you keep us in mind and hang onto these items until our office at the Marion County Literacy Council reopens!

Foster or adopt a pet! With many more people staying at home, this is a great opportunity to help our animal community too. Reach out to the Humane Society of Marion County, Marion County Animal Services, or VOCAL. Scientific studies have shown that pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve your mental and physical health.

Donate to the ALICE Fund with the United Way of Marion County. The United Way teamed up with Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership team to assist displaced workers and small businesses locally here in Marion County. You can learn more about this program by visiting here.

Shop local! Several restaurants and small businesses are open but are operating a little differently. Check their website or social media to see how they’re conducting business during COVID-19. A lot of these places have stepped up and are helping our community by feeding front-line workers or donating proceeds to a fund for those affected by COVID-19.

You can find a listing of local nonprofits and their most pressing needs at the Community Foundation’s website here.